The launch of the Xperia Play is giving the gaming community a smart device they can call their own

On Sunday evening in Barcelona, Sony Ericsson launched its Xperia Play smartphone and reenforced its desire to be a leader in entertainment communications.

The Xperia Play smartphone caters directly to the gaming community with its slide-out Playstation controller and preloaded classic Playstation titles. It is a taste of true convergence that has been talked about for so long across technology and telecoms and it might just be tapping into a real demand.

While we have seen smartphone manufacturers diversify their portfolios to meet the needs of different customer segments, Sony Ericsson is going after the gaming community with a device that has both a unique design and a familiar gaming brand behind it.

With its event in Barcelona, the company stated very clearly that it wants to be “The Communication Entertainment Brand”. This is an exciting development in the smartphone market and a move that gives Sony Ericsson a real identity and purpose. They want to own their niche and the Xperia Play from a brief look is a strong step toward that.

The smartphone market came into its own in 2010 and already at Mobile World Congress 2011 a niche smart device has been one of the most highly anticipated in recent years. The gaming community is an ideal niche to target and one that is well-defined and technology oriented. What will be interesting to see if any other manufacturers can identify and then successfully target a new or less recognized community with a specifically designed device.